Church bells that have rung since 1779 silenced after noise complaint

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    Church bells that have rung since 1779 silenced after noise complaint
    The bells of a church which have rung since 1779 are to be silenced after a noise complaint by a neighbour.

    St Peter’s Church in Sandwich, Kent, chimes every 15 minutes but Dover District Council served a night-time noise abatement order, despite 85% of the town’s population objecting.

    Carole George, Save The Chimes campaign leader, said it threatened “traditions and history” in the medieval town.

    The council said it had a “statutory duty to investigate noise complaints”.

    More than 3,500 people signed a petition to keep the bells in the Norman church ringing.

    The council’s decision this week will silence the bells between 23:00 and 07:00 GMT.

    ‘Beating heart’

    It comes after the complaint was made in the summer. Save The Chimes then surveyed people in the town and only 15% were indifferent to, or did not like the bells.

    Mrs George said: “This is not a democratic decision, the council has ignored the vast majority of its electorate.

    “The church has been ringing out for centuries, it’s not a new noise. It’s the beating heart of this town….